Mars Petcare is the world’s leading pet food and veterinary care organization, so it should come as no surprise that it was concerned by a significant decline in pet populations in Australia. Its response has won Mars Petcare and its PR partner, Palin Communications, first place in the “Use of Celebrity” category of PR Daily’s 2017 Media Relations Awards.
The keys to pet-friendly communities include outdoor spaces for pets, pet-related businesses, rental accommodation and public transport access. The organization determined that a decline in pet-friendly Australian cities and towns was a key reason for the drop-off in pet ownership. With Palin Communications, Mars Petcare connected with veterinarian Dr. Chris Brown, a recognizable media celebrity with more than 250,000 Facebook and 10,000 Twitter followers.
Throughout the campaign, Dr. Brown focused on the impact of fewer pets on humans, which, according to research, takes its toll on human health and happiness. Dr. Brown visited five major capital cities across Australia while building and maintaining an online community of advocates to join his call for cities to be more pet-friendly.
Dr. Brown talked about the Pet Friendly Score, a metric developed by Mars Petcare for cat-friendliness, dog-friendliness, and overall pet-friendliness in each community. The campaign culminated with a Keep Australia Pet-Friendly Facebook community.
A video of Dr. Brown’s appearances scored more than 375,000 views. As evidence that communities have taken the message to heart, five dog parks have been commissioned since the campaign’s launch, and New South Wales and Victoria are considering legislative changes to permit more pet-friendly rentals.
Congratulations to the team of Martin Palin, Ishtar Schneider, Ben Seal and Katherine Kalas.